NPC Celebrates Outstanding Alumnus, Faculty, and Staff

National Park College (NPC) celebrated a successful year of achievements in student success and campus growth during Thursday’s annual employee recognition luncheon. Awards were presented to the outstanding faculty, staff and alumnus for 2019 and employees were recognized for their years of service, community service, and retirement.

James Montgomery receiving his Outstanding Faculty awardThe Outstanding Faculty award was presented to Criminal Justice instructor James Montgomery. Dr. Wade Derden, vice president for academic affairs described Montgomery as “a consummate professional.” He said, “Everything he does, he does with excellence.” His nominator said, “He is one of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and supportive individuals. If he says, ‘let me know if you need anything,’ he truly means it and isn’t just saying it to be nice. In addition, he is extraordinarily dedicated not only to his current students, but also former students, supporting them in their careers and future educational endeavors.”

Montgomery served as the chair of Faculty Senate, member of the Behavioral Intervention Team, chair of the Higher Learning Commission criterion (HLC) III team, Title IX deputy for students, building captain, and as the program leader for Criminal Justice. He is also the faculty advisor for NPC’s new skeet/trap shooting club.

Dr. Charles Argo, Social Sciences division chair said, “He is one of the most accomplished instructors we have on this campus, and certainly one of the most innovative when it comes to online instruction. He is the department’s lead in D2L training and provides support for his colleagues during this transition.”

The Outstanding Staff award was presented to Director of Talent Search, Diane Meredith. Last year’s recipient, Mary Diane Meredith receiving the Outstanding Staff awardKay Wurm said, “NPC’s outstanding staff member exemplifies the values of NPC. The words that consistently describe this employee are caring, thoughtful, and hard working.” Her nominator said, “Even while traveling at work conferences, she was available to her team and the high schools returning calls and responding to emails. I overheard her efforts to help several high school students find prom dresses and shoes, and even offering to help take students shopping to ensure they had everything they needed for their special day. It was heartwarming to see a co-worker so dedicated to helping others in need.”

Meredith assists with the campus data core group, the second level financial aid appeals committee, Manufacturing Day, student activities, and advising/registration for students. She is currently serving in the role of co-chair for the HLC accreditation project. Her community service involves serving on the steering committee for Cutter Morning Star High School, as a Sunday School teacher and as a member of the personnel committee at her church.

This year NPC presented a new award, the “Live Like Allan” award in honor of late instructor Allan Mesko. A singing bowl and a $500 professional development scholarship were awarded to Administrative Support Supervisor Tabatha Tuskey. Vice President for Human Resources, Janet Brewer said, “As we continue to heal and remember our friend, we wish to honor an employee who exemplifies his energy, kindness, and gentle spirit.” Tuskey’s nomination described her as an employee who is never content to just do her job. “Her smiling face is a fixture at nearly every campus event. She, more than anyone on this campus, ensures that our hungry students get snacks from our food pantry and that the children of our poorest students have toys under the tree on Christmas morning,” they added.

Kristy Carter receiving the Outstanding Alumnus awardThe Outstanding Alumnus award was presented to 1999 graduate Kristy Carter. Carter is the Director of Marketing for the University of Central Arkansas’ (UCA) Division of Outreach and Community Engagement. She graduated from Hot Springs High School and holds a certificate in Business Office Technology and Accounting from Quapaw Technical Institute, an Associate of Arts from Garland County Community College, a Bachelor of Science in Education from Henderson State University, a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration from the University of Arkansas Little Rock, and is currently completing a PhD in Leadership Studies from UCA.

Chair of the NPC Alumni and Friends Association, Denice Davis said Carter’s accomplishments include leading large teams of professionals, public relations, management of large financial operations, regulation of facilities, technology and business learning instruction, and service learning and volunteerism.

Her nominator said, “While I appreciated Kristy’s tenacity and devotion to her studies, it was her kindness and empathy that I admired most. Her smile was infectious, and her heart for service resulted in becoming a student leader on campus.”

Carter said, “I am so honored for this opportunity. I tell people all the time that this is where I got my start. You all nurtured me and really instilled all those good things that made me who I am today.” The theme for the day’s celebration was “Experience the Magic.” Carter noted that, “In terms of magic happening, there is a lot of magic happening on this campus. I barely recognized the place when I got here.” She acknowledged Dr. Joyce Craft, a member of the NPC Board of Trustees, who was principal at Hot Springs High School when Carter graduated. Carter also noted all of the contributions of service by the faculty and staff. She challenged them and said, “I want to encourage you to continue your work. Continue your service. Stay fast and it will definitely pay off.”

Years of service pins were presented to the following employees:

Five years: Bradlee Bassett, Marcah Johnson, Bill Ritter, Rebekah Robinette, Debbie Ugbade, Eve Victory

Ten years: Brian Charles, Allison Divine, Cathy Heilman, Susan Lewis, Kathy McCon, Barbara Mori, Nicole Reynolds, Ana Rodriguez, Sara Seaman, Brian Theroux, Paula Welch

Fifteen years: Eric Boardway, Gail Carmon, Patricia Longinotti, Jeff Looper, Kristin Quintanilla, Melinda Thornton

Twenty years: Richard Beason, Lisa Hopper

Twenty-five years: Jason Armitage, Juanita Brewer, Linda Franklin

Thirty years: Tamara Abernathy, Janetta Ritter

Forty-five years: Joan Henry

The following retirees were recognized for their service: Tamara Abernathy, Linda Franklin, Joan Henry, David Hughes, Jeff Kinney, Susan Lewis, Sara Seaman, Suzy Still, Paula Welch

The following employees were recognized for volunteer service:

Over 500 Hours: Anne Benoit

Over 250 Hours: David Hughes, Christopher Thrasher, Connie Poteet, Marie Linden-Cox (student), Steve Trusty, Eve Victory

Over 100 Hours: Linda Franklin, Janice Ivers, Nicole Herndon, Carla Kelley, Sebrena Lewis, Nathan Looper, Margaret White, Debra Wilson, Melissa Cheresnik (student), Cory Morris (student)

Groups Over 750 Hours: Hospitality Students, Honors Students

Groups Over 250 Hours: Nursing Students, Intro to Social Work Students